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Into. American pol. final


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pork barrel
federal $ that is distributed to various localities and states via grants & subsidies for various discrete projects

(can be for transportation, environmental projects, other things that will benifit the district...allocates money to your district for specific projects)
helping constituents (doing favors for constituents)
-often helping them deal with the federal bureaucracy
-done in district offices
monopolized support
congress has a monopoly on support (social security, immigration, Housing and urban development...these things are unrelated to issues, ideology, and positions)
-the only way you can get these services is to go through your congress person
“$ appropriated by the federal government in a bill that is phrased in general terms, but with specific conditions

-often applies to universities
mutual aid among politicians who must vote on many items of economic importance in individual states and districts

-congress people cooperate to get money for their states/districts
Norm of reciprocity
everyone should get a peice of the pie, everyone has a right to it (all the districts should get a little something)
Christmas tree bills
bills that have a little something for everyone (attach pork to bills, so that lots of districts benifit)
name recognition
recognition is that you have seen that name and you can associate it with that candidate
(you can recognize a name when you see it)

-a lot less people can recall or recognize a challenger (huge advantage for incumbents)
name recall
being able to recall a name

-alot less people can recall or recognize a challenger (huge advantage for incumbents)
war chest
accumulated bundle of money
-incumbents can take in a lot of money, and often build up money over time throughout their period in office—can be enough money to keep people from challenging them/threatening them
franking privledges
incumbents can send mail from their office—signature the goes across the top instead of a stamp…you can send this for free (this can't be directly campaign related
reapportionment process
-takes place after the census⬦states are reallocated their representatives so that all congressional districts are roughly the same size
redrawing of lines by state legislatures across the county following the reapportionment process⬦done to make sure every district has about an equal population

-the way they draw the lines is a political an advantage to the party in power

-Only a small % of seats in congress are really highly competitive-a result of redistricting
they draw lines to maximize some value or another⬦politicians try to redraw line In outrageous ways

-districts are often weighted toward one party on other
the “turkey” factor
most incumbents face losers

-Who in their right mind would challenge somebody who has all of these strengths?
-smart people know not to challenge incumbents...the best challengers decline to run/run in open districts, so that is an advantage in itself to incumbents

(so even when there is competition, real competition is scared off by incumbents
Potomac favor
incumbents who are too rapped up in the power scene in Washington and lose touch with their base
-quality chalengers know that these would be good incumbents to challenge
(they also know to: challenge vulnerable incumbents or inexperienced incumbents...or better yet to run in an open seat)
Strategic Politicians theory
an attempt to understand the congressional elections as a whole
-Politicians are strategic-they make decisions based on risk and opportunity—these decisions are made well before the election
-they look at who will likely be elected to office, who are the incumbents and the challengers, how are things going for the parties
and they can decide if it's a good or a bad time to run for office. if they are running against a well seated incumbent, it's stupid to run

-groups look at this flows to chalengers who have a better chance of winning
-the outcomes are affected well before the election takes place—in the teams that are established, and the resources are put together well before the election takes place
Issue attention cycle
some dramatic event has occurred and has shone a light on a particular problem, which then generates some will in congress to do something about that reason a bill is introduced
many reps develop an expertise in a particular policy area
-it enables them to address the problems in that area in an informed way⬦many pieces of legislation come from the expert in that area
-reps become better experts than senators (they are more focused)
-other congress members trust the opinions of experts
policy entrepreneurship
-legislation that seeks to fill a gap within a particular body of law
-many reps see themselves as coming to Washington to do something important-there is an incentive to do something of significance
-they look for policy gaps that they can fill with their activities...often there is a race to get to the policy gap and to be the person who could say that they filled that gap and solved a problem
policy gap
congress people try to fill a gap in policy...they try to make a significant differance in policy. they want to be the ones that can say they have accomplished something important. for prestige, and for getting reelected
members of congress who introduce a bill (smart sponsers have co-sponsers)
dear colleague letter
congress members write letters to recruit people on board with arguments in favor of the legislation (usually some political arguments involved)
committee/subcommittee work
-committee assignements made by leadership (if they are hostile to the bill they might send it to a committee that would be less in favor of it)
-sub-committee is where the tiny details are worked out (where bi-partisan activity takes place...hold hearings and mark ups (happens again at committee lever, but with the bigger issues)
-can die in sub-committee, and committee if the mark ups dont pass, if the leaders dont like it, if it doesnt move
-part of the process is discovery of the bill-bring in experts (doctors, lawyers, bureaucrats⬦)⬦they probe the problem deeply
-hearing very useful to reps in the sub-committee to craft the legislation further
-sometimes the hearing is just to bring attention to the bill...sometimes they bring in celebrities to focus the medias attention on the issue
mark-up sessions
-legislation is actually marked-up, amendments are offered, bill is worked into shape
-where the details/language of legislation is worked out
-not usually the most contentions- difficult issues are often postponed to the full committee
-if sub-committee doesn’t vote for the marked-up legislation, the bill dies
-this process of hearings and mark-ups happens again a second time at the full committee
-hopefully the difficult issues are worked out…give and take happens
-that generally informs what happens in the big stage
-if the committee doesn’t do anything with the bill, or votes down the legislation, it dies
The rules committee
-this committee is charged with controlling the gate to the floor of the house
-a rule is a provision or a set of provisions that accompanies a bill to the house floor
-if a bill isnt given a rule, it dies
-Has an enormous influence on outcomes-very powerful committee (the chair of this committee is very powerful)
closed rule
-no amendments are allowed on that bill (house has to vote up and down on the bill as it is)⬦all tax bills have such a rule
germaneness rule
-any amendment to the legislation has to be related to the issue area that is at stake
=you cant attach a piece of legislation that is unrelated (couldn’t attach a little abortion piece to transportation legislation)
king of the mountain rule
-rules committee will package a bunch of bills together, and they will be considered all at the same time
-rules committee will determine the order they are considered⬦and the last bill will supersede all of the others
-they will put the most popular bill first, so everyone is given cover to vote for a bill that is popular
-by structuring the treatment of the issue in this particular way they provide political cover for reps as they have to go and defend their votes
unanimous consent
Leadership in the senate act as the gatekeepers-and terms of debate in the senate are agreed to by unanimous consent
-if any senator objects they have placed a hold on the legislation
-doesn’t happen very often-because every senator needs every other senators support to get their bill heard
-creates a lot of bad will among colleagues
-senators that use holds are less likely to introduce legislation themselves (because then they would have less at stake)
-if a hold is placed on a bill and it never gets to the senate, it dies
-holds the floor as long as they can talk⬦;one individual or many individuals can hold the whole institution hostage
-blocking technique
-way for intense minority to be heard
conference committee
-major players in both houses
-work out differences between 2 bills
-has to be worked out, or the bill dies
-if approved by committee, house, and senate (reconciliation process)
-pres: has 10 days to sign bill/veto…or law goes into effect w/o signature
-pocket veto: if congress has adjourned before the 10 days are up…the bill dies b/c the pres holds onto it: cant go to senate
-congress can override vetoes w/ 2/3 vote (doesn’t happen very frequently)
- the whole process is a huge, inefficient, complicated, long obstacle course (marathon, not a sprint)
- in committee assignmentsconsideration is made for congress members who are new, and have concern for their district...they are seeking to expand electoral base
-in making committee assignments, concideration for those who have more seniority, and are seeking to keep supporters with them (spend their focus on Washington, legislation)
reelection committees
-allows expansionist members who are especially vulnerable to be put on committees that are important to districts/ constituents
-often have dems: Gops who are united in their goals⬦promote constituents
-less partisan, more compromise, less ideological, more likely to pass on floor
Ideological committees
-the issues that they deal with are difficult, pretentious, and divisive
-people whoa are attracted to these committees tend to be more ideological, partisan, from safe districts
-fundamental issues for the parties (minimum wage, workplace laws⬦)
-harder going
Judiciary Committee
-deals with most divisive issues (civil rights, abortion, immigration, flag burning⬦)
-agree less, argue more, report fewer bills to the floor⬦their bills are more amended once they get to the floor, and they are less accepted
-more likely to be voted on by party line votes
Power Committees
-members have a great amount of leverage among peers
-harder to get onto⬦reached by members later in their careers
-members who are seeking power/influence in the institution
-deals with processes that other senators care a lot about
(House: rules committee, ways and means committee (tax legislation), appropriations committee
Senate: finance committee, appropriations committee, budget committees)
transition rule
-when a tax will go into affect, when a tax will be phased out
appropriations & authorizations
-deals with the funding of various programs
-all committees of congress can authorize money to be spent; but that money does not leave the federal treasury until it is “appropriated” by the appropriations committee (getting funding to a program/project is a 2 step process)
-appropriation is often hard to get b/c one of the norms of the committee is to protect the treasury…so you tend to have more fiscally conservative members on the committee
power of the purse
-congress decides how to spend government money
-fundamental power of congress
-appropriations committee is a fundamental part of the institutions
-appropriations bills are highly supported/more resented on the floor?
-huge check over bureacracy...bureaucracy has to make sure they do generally what congress wants, so that congress will keep giving them funds/increase funds when they need it
congressional oversight
-congress is charged with overseeing implementation of legislation (they have knowledge about how an issue plays out in bureaucracy)
-this is an argument against term limits b/c it takes expertise and understanding of the bureaucracy to create legislation/get things accomplished in congress
congressional staff (influence on voting)
- they are there to consult on legislative matters-crafting of legislation, issue area, giving advice to member on the issue area
-provide information and advice on bills to their reps
(sponsors, attributes of the bill, and consequences of the bill⬦)
-only 5% of reps actually said they are influenced by staff in making their vote
-they rarely have their opinion asked for (most staff are trained to give the response that their reps want)
-they may be more influential than many members recognize (by providing some information and not other information, they can skew the opinions of the rep⬦can make it seem that some alternatives are better than the other by the kind of information given)
-congress member who votes according to his own conscience, makes decisions based on own view of the good of the whole
-on most issues, members of congress act as trustees, because they can afford to (constituents are not paying close attention to how their reps vote)
-many of the issues that congress deals with/vote on are rather small (things people wont have opinions about/wont know about, they are complex)
-in a survey of public officials most reps didn’t trust the public to know enough to make good decisions on the issues congress deals with
-when congress members tend to the interest of their constituents, and votes to please those constituents
-occasionally there are votes that matter (votes that would affect district/region in a very clear way, or issues that are easily understood and easily grasped by the public)
-pay raise legislation for instance⬦something the public can understand
-high profile ideological issues, emotional issues cause reps to act in a more delicate fashion
-its not so much the vote that matters, but members of congress are cautious on many votes because they know that it can come back and bite them in the next election (concerned that opponents can use it in the next election)
-there are ways that they can hide/weaken their vote if they must (they can vote against the rule attached to the bill, vote on a procedure to weaken the bill...)
cloak rooms
-places reps gather to talk off the main chambers of the house and the senate
-members of congress are influenced by each other in voting (they look at who is for a bill and who is against it, they trust expertise, they trust people of their same ideology)
party unity vote
“A congressional vote where a majority of democrats line up against a majority of republicans” (about 9:10 in each party vote on party line)
-about half the time this happens
-leadership of the house has great influence and power-but that it is limited (they cant crack the whip and have everybody follow in line…they have to ASK for support)
-their influence comes from what they can do for their colleagues (committee assignment, campaign support…)
-power to give=the power to take away
-everybody is an electoral free agent-thus, the party’s strength in congress is on there ability for each member to get back/reelected (so their may be an expectation of LESS party discipline-members are often expected to vote against their party in issues of importance to their district
presidential influence
-Pres. Has a lot of influence in congress, but this influence does not come from the constitution-he can’t deny members place in his party
-The power of the pres. Is the power to persuade (when the pres. Asks, it is hard to say no)

-personal prestige, shared intrests w/in party...
president is the only national elected political figure-others should go along with them for that reason alone (particularly if there is a sizable victory)
-Claim to a mandate is far fetched (bob dole reading)…
-Some vote for pres. For reason X, some vote for reason Y…so if pres. Says “vote for this particular piece of legislation because I have support of the voters” doesn’t make sense
-but what is important is if politicians THINK that a mandate has been expressed on a particular item (it is how an election is interpreted by members of congress that gives a president influence in congress)
-the presidents election has some direct bearing on other members of congress (president brings in lots of lower level people with him)
-congressmen can ride in on the coattails of the president-reps on a party who feel that they are there because the president has pulled them in⬦that is persuasive
"going public"
-"That class of activities designed to place presidents and their messages before the American people in a way that enhances their chances of success in Washington”
-Pres. Has a visibility that no other political actor in Washington has (pres can go on TV, travel the country, make a pitch for a particular policy position)…all of these things can be persuasive
-Appeal to the public to influence their reps.
-there is so much focus on the president, that his message penetrates more than anybody else’s (way of creating bottom up pressure on the votes of members of congress
office of congressional relations (OCR)
-president employs lobbyists on capital hill⬦OCR lobbies for the president when he is not doing so himself (president needs to persuade congress to go along with him⬦he needs lobbyists
-though he is the most politically powerful official, he still needs to court congress (he has the resources to do it, but he still has to do it)
-OCR helps the senators and reps. deal with bureaucracy (Does personal favors for reps. Such as invite them to bill signings, get them mentioned, get fundraising help, get them a ride on air force one⬦)
-power to give is the power to take away
retail politicking
-ability of presidents to deal with congress one-on-one
-LBJ was very good at this
-ability of presidents to deal with congress as a whole
-reagan was very effective at this (he wasnt on top of policy detail, but he was fabulous at communicating messages to many)
logical budgeting
-destroying the budget each year, and starting again from scratch
-a unique way of approaching the job as president
inductive decision making
-start with detail, and work the way up to decision making
deductive decision making
-start with big ideas and policy is produced from those ideas
-good student, studied all night, good attention to detail of policy, he was involved in many minute details⬦very hands on
-believer in cost benefit analysis (calculate all the costs, and all the benefits)
-inductive decision making
-logical budgeting
-unpopular on capital hill (had an anti-establishment attitude)
-Delegated decisions to those around him…not involved/attentive to detail (didn’t get caught up in the muck of decision making)
-policies based on general principles (Deductive thinker-he started with big ideas, and his policy, flowed from those big ideas (taxes=bad, communists=bad…)
-Made decisions easily, even though he didn’t understand the full contents of what he was deciding
-Reagan’s staff knew how he made decisions, and they crafted a process that took advantage of that-they gave him ‘mini=memos’ with a box to check at the bottom, so he didn’t have to do to much reading
-very skillful with congress, a lot of legislative accomplishment, came from congress…he was an expert at retail politicking –one on one-, when he was pushing “the great society” part of the reason they got through was b/c LBJ was very strategic about how he approached congress
-LBJ: “there is but one was for a president to deal with congress…the relationship b/w president and congress must be almost incestuous”…they should know each other very well
-decent relationship with congress
-granted favors in a subtle way, had people on capital hill court congress members, gentle retail operation
-relaxed about the job (or at least perceived as being relaxed⬦ more hard-driving then perceived)
-not a lot of respect on capital hill, but he did use the power of his office well (used resources to grant favors and punish members of congress)
-he was very willing to trade (look for votes, but promising things in return/or made threats)
-grew up in Arkansas politics where he had to use hard ball politics and sweet talk, and he was skilled at both
-method of presidential managment of assistance
-orderly process, less political arraignment, give every one of your assistance a different task, everybody comes back with reports.
-Very reasoned decisions were made this way (Nixon, Eisenhower)
-method of presidential managment of assistance (FDR used this)
-pit advisors against each other, have them work on the same problem simultaneously, everybody would come back and fight it out in front of him. -Assured that all points of view were going to be heard, but there was a lot of conflict in his administration
-method of presidential managment of assistance
-establishing teams, everybody works together, everybody is responsible for a good result. -Conflict is channeled through the process.
-President works as a leader
administrative discretion
-when congress makes laws, it leaves a lot of details out⬦the details are left to the bureaucracy
-bills provide the broad outlines, and congress charges an agency/department to fill in the gaps⬦congress delegates authority to bureaucracy
-sometimes congress delegates sticky issues to bureaucracies to determine
-they recognize that bureaucrats are shielded from too much political pressure (no worries about elections, campaign contributions⬦), so the decisions they make about how to apply the laws will be based on more objective criteria
Federal Register
-published daily, includes all the regulations and rules that are issues by the various agencies, as well as executive orders & presidential proclamations
-equivalent of the congressional record for the bureaucracy
Comment period
-public can make comments about bureaucratic regulations⬦can lead to change in the rule or regulation (after comment period is over, then they are put into effect
Code of Federal Regulations
bureacratic regulations:
after comment period is over, then they are put into effect⬦they are put into the Code of Federal Regulations
-this takes everything that happens and then organizes it⬦published by agency and by date
Rulemaking authority
-the ability of the bureaucracy to act in a legislative fashion
-issues a set of rules/regulations to be followed by a class of people⬦act of putting out rules that people must follow
-reaffirmed in Whitman v. American trucking associations
Whitman v. American trucking associations
-in 2001 the SCOTUS heard a case challenging the clean air act of 1970 b/c one party said congress didn’t have the constitutional right to delegate authority to create pollution standards to the EPA…decided that congress did have that right
-reaffirmed that congress has the right to delegate things to the bureaucracy
Adjudicatory authority
-the ability of bureaucrats to act in a more judicial manner/to make a ruling as to whether an individual/single group is operating within a law, or qualifies for a benefit/subsidy that is provided by a law⬦can take on a case by case basis whether a particular group/individual applies to a law (less formal court like setting in front of an administrative law judge who makes decisions case by case)
-Social security administration relies on an administrative law judge to determine who qualifies for social security benefits (not always clear cut)
-There are individual cases that congress cant anticipate
-Sometimes, bureaucratic agencies can act in a pre-adjudicatory fashion-before an issue comes up, people can act for assistance from departments to determine who is responsible for what/who can get what benefit before a case-can help negotiate settlements
congressional review act
congress can overturn rules that it opposes within 60 days of the creation of those rules-rare, but possible⬦eliminating the offending regulation
-this is one way that congress can check the bureacracy
-decisions being made based on who you know
-people dont want this (this is one reason having civil servents who cant be replaced by change in parties is a good thing)
Iron Triangles
b. bureaucratic agencies often form alliances with members of congress/constituencies that are deeply interested in an issue area, work together to see certain policies pursued and achieved. Often dealing with distributive policies…areas where there are no losers, only winners, less partisan
-characterized by issues that people aren’t paying close attention to, way down below the radar screen…they form Subgovernments
-the political actors involved are all getting something out of the relationship
-bureaucrats=protecting programs that they are charged with running
-interest groups=getting their interest achieved
-congress=getting the policy they want achieved
-bureaucracy is not as insolated from politics that people might think
-bureacracy is somewhat accountable to the public, and to congress
-Nixon was on pretty good political standing
-members of Committee of to re-elect the pres (CREEP) broke into the Democratic national convention headquarters
-Nixon refused to turn over tapes…when he did parts were erased
-Media probed until he resigned
- Nixon had a hostile relationship w/the press, so press probed deeper b/c it didn’t trust administration (by being hostile, Nixon made the press hostile)
-Presidents need the media, and the media needs the president. Presidents who know how to court the media, and who get into positive, sensational situations that make good coverage will ultimately do better (Reagan was really good at courting the media)
-bureaucracy has 15 departments
-include-big overarching departments (homeland security, state department⬦)
Independent agencies
-13 independent agencies
-separate entities that don’t fit inside the departments (smaller issue areas, more specific tasks)…postal service, FEC, federal reserve board
-heads of agencies are not in presidents cabinet
-comprised of all the department heads, secretaries of each department, plus head of OMB, plus US trade rep.
- can vary from administration to administration (the presidents priorities can be reflected in the composition of the cabinet)
-cabinet members-come from a variety of sources-older, more established members of pres. Party, family connections, close friends, long-time supporters, members of the pres. party who are out of jobs, sometimes experts in a field
-tends to be ethnically, racially, religiously representative
Office of Management and Budget (OBM)
-directs the creating of the presidents budget before the president presents his budget to congress
-clears every rule that is issued by the departments and agencies, and makes sure that those rules are consistent with what the administrations priorities are
plum book
-Every four years, just after the Presidential election, the United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions, commonly known as the Plum Book, is published. -used to identify positions within the Federal Government that are appointed by the pres.
civil servants
-huge majority of federal employees are not upper layer, and they keep their jobs no matter who is the president
white house staff
-helps the president control the federal bureaucracy…report directly to president
-office in white house-little mini bureaucracy directed to enhancing the power of the president (chief of staff, press secretary, personnel office, national security council, office of science and technology, office of policy development…)
-Advice the president of politics, policy, broad principles, how to deal with congress…
- “maximize presidents time and voice”, help president make policy, determine who he will meet with/not meet with, give him legal advice, help manage bureaucracy/coordinate what is happening in bureaucracy
-appointees often younger, less experienced, loyal to the president
Press secretary
helps president Deal with the press, explains policy, makes press statements, answers questions about presidents policy, helps put spin on things, protect president from reporters, deals with medias requests/needs (very important position)
going native
-when heads of bureacracy/cabinet members are so captive by the mission of the bureaucracy that it is their only priority (they get captured by their bureaucracy⬦and come to believe in the mission of the federal programs)
An independent judiciary
-Judges at the federal district courts, and court of appeals, and the SCOTUS level are insulated from the public⬦they are appointed for life and do not come up for election (no political consequences from any decision that they make)
-There can be no lowering of the pay of a justice or judge, this further insulates the court from retribution
-the court can be free to make unpopular decisions without worrying about retributions from elected officials
- the only Major way for other branches to influence the supreme court is through appointments
diversity (supreme court)
-criteria for SCOTUS appointments
-try to make it seem representative (even though it is not, to increase its sence of legitimacy)
experience (in SCOTUS appointments)
-Court of appeals=a place where many presidents look to make appointments from (they make appointments to it with the idea that they can “season” judges to later be supreme court justices)
-Occasionally look to state courts (particularly high state courts…state supreme courts)
-Solicitor general=individual who represents the government in the supreme court when the government is party to a case (this person is often looked to as appointees)…high profile position (they are appointed y whoever is the current president)
-Consideration of whether the president can get somebody through to the SCOTUS⬦especially in a period of divided government
-There are real concerns with appointing somebody who will be confirmable
-Strategy is to find somebody who has less of a record (less for senate to debate on/harder for opposition to make a case against appointee)
Judicial Activism
-constitution is a living doctrine/should adapt to the times…founding fathers couldn’t anticipate everything that comes up.
-Constitution is made of broad principles, and these principles can be adjusted. -Supreme Court can play a more assertive role in overturning legislation/executive decisions, or in creating mandates for political actors to behave in certain ways.
-If broad principles of the constitution are violated, the supreme court can do more things to overturn it
Judicial Restraint
-the court should not “make policy.”
-It is a relatively undemocratic institution, and the court should not overturn decisions that are made by officials, that are elected by the will of the people.
-“When in doubt, don’t.”
-The court should be more constrained to a literal reading of the constitution
-they should be more tied to the originally intent/wording of the constitution=STRICT CONSTRUCTIONISM
Felix Frankfurter
advocate of judicial restraint
John Marshall
-probably the most important justice who ever lived.
-Held the job for 35 years⬦and added to the power and the glamour of the court⬦first major figure of the court
-prisided over marbury v. madison
marbury v. madison
-John Adams is leaving office…makes political appointments…Jefferson comes into office and is mad, and he gives instructions to James Madison not to order the appointments. Marbury asked the Supreme Court to give him his appointment, he asked the court to order a writ of mandamus to give him his job. The court says that the law that gives the court the power to require Madison to act is not constitutional under the constitution (congress’s laws giving us that power is unconstitutional, and therefore it is null and void. He gave up the battle to win the war)
-By doing this he asserted the judicial power to review congresses law, and declare it unconstitutional
agenda of supreme court cases
-the court has complete descretion over which cases it hears
-he cases must be in its juristiction, but other than that the court decides on a case by case basis
original jurisdiction
-cases allocated directly under the jurisdiction of the supreme court
-cases between states
-first time the case is heard
-usually 1 or 2 cases a session
-States arguing over water or things like that⬦
writ of certiorari
-cases from state supreme court and court of appeals get to the supreme court when a party in a case asks for a writ of certiorari-asking to be heard by the court
-parties that want to make a case to the court must have standing
-a doctor couldnt argue a case that his patient is being treated unfairly
Taxman v. Piscatawny County
-civil rights groups made a $400,000 settlement to Mrs. Taxman⬦once they settled the case she no longer had standing.
-The civil rights groups gave her some money to make the case go away, so they could avoid a supreme court hearing of the case that could be potentially very damaging to them
-they elliminated the standing
-when cases dont have standeing, or are regected, the case then became moot-void, done, over with, no longer valid
-ff the supreme court refuses cert, then the lower courts ruling stands
oral arguement
-once the SCOTUS grants cert, step one is to bring the parties to the court for a presentation in front of the justices (each side given an house)
-the public part of the courts operation (anyone can go watch)
-argument is about a small thing (in Gideon’s trumpet-argument was whether Gideon has a right to an attorney, not was he guilty in what he was charged for)
-attorneys for each side is in charge in making the case in front of the justices-not coherent-the justices ask questions, interrupt, probe, fight among themselves, make sarcastic comments… this can often be rather frustrating for an attorney to make their case
-it is a formal setting but it is a rather informal procedure
amicus curiae briefs
-friends of the court
-allows individuals and organizations (interest groups) that are not direct parties to the case to add some argument to try to sway the justices
-a high profile case can have lots of parties wanting to put in their two cents
The conference (SCOTUS)
-Usually at the end of the week in which all the cases are heard-held on Friday
-Justices meet in private and go around he table and each state their straw vote in the case⬦procedure is very traditional
-after this it is clear which side it is going and which way they are going to vote
-chief justice assigns the decision/opinion to someone, or himself (if he is in the majority)⬦if the chief justice in the minority then the next senior justice who is in the majority decides
-this is a significant power of the chief justice, cause they can write the opinion or assign it to someone who has a similar opinion then themselves
concurring opinion
-justices that agree with the decision but not the reasoning behind that⬦agree with the result but not the logic
dissenting opinion
-those in the opposition can write out their case (this provides a record of the opposition)
stare decisis
-let the decision stand (precedent is valued and important. The court should reverse prior decisions of the SCOTUS only under extreme circumstances⬦reversing itself is big news/not an everyday occurrence
-much of the reasoning in Gideon came from dissent in betts v. brady
common law
-stay with precedent.
-There should be continuity in the decisions that come from the court (the court shouldn’t blow back and forth every time it changes members)
-The legitimacy of the court is enhanced when the decisions don’t pinball back and forth, and people know what the law is (the court relys on the public accepting its place in the it tries to rule as narrowly as possible/with restraint, so that people accept it as legitimate)
-it cant enforce the decisions that it makes, so having a sense of legitimacy is important
the free rider problem
-when an organization works to represent an entire group/works to the benefit of an entire group, those individuals in a group have no incentive to participate in the group if they will benefit from their efforts even if they don’t participate
-gun control: people want gun control, but the NRA is good at overcoming the free-rider problem, so we dont have much gun control
-it is human nature to form groups...but it is also human nature to be passive
collective goods
-goods/benefits that can not be excluded from non-members of the organization
-Public TV-you get this whether you pledge during their pledge drives or not (you get the shows/channels whether or not you contribute to their cause)...So public TV/public media have a problem
public interest groups
-Interest groups that work for the public good (women’s rights, civil liberties, environment, Religion…)
-benefits are not specific to the groups (something that we would all enjoy..,.the people are working to the public interest as they see it
closed shops
-business or industrial establishment whose members are required to be in unions
material benifits
-Benefits often offered by organizations for joining⬦goodies that you get for participating in the organization
-public TV-when you join you get a magazine each month
-NRA-offer gun owners a lot of benefit for joining the organization (belong to gun clubs, deals on ammunition, magazines⬦)
-American association of retired people (AARP)-give insurance, drivers programs, travel service, pharmacy program⬦45% who joined did so because of some material benefit
Solidary benefits
-groups give people who join a chance to meet with other people who have similar interests
-sierra club-sierra singles club, organized hikes and outings
-material benefits and solidary benefits are denied to people who do not join⬦this provides incentives for people to join
purposive benefits
-some people get a warm and fuzzy feeling from joining a group (makes you feel good about yourself)
-so groups give people lots of information about the targets of your efforts, make them feel good about what you have accomplished
-groups sometimes share lists to identify joiners of similar groups (this is easy over the internet)
-if you join one group you may start getting mail from other similar groups
Political action committees (PACs)
-the primary way to create a favorable environment in which to ask congress for favors later is to give money (to ask congress to think about there issues)
-groups pay attention to the way congress votes, and money is donated to congress based on ability of congress members to do something for an organization based on their political positions
-PACS can contribute 5000 dollars per election per cycle
-PACs pool money together from people who have common interests, allows people to give money, and the money comes with a message (goes to a particular representative from an organization) (makes a statement that individuals alone cannot communicate)
McCain-Feingold reform
-Limited soft money (money given to campaigns to spend on unlimited ways)
-increased the donations that individuals could give to candidates ($2000 per election per cycle)
-Strict rules on where money is coming from and how the money was being spent
-Strict rules of FEC (federal election committee)⬦and information is now readily available on the web on where money is coming from and where money is going
Buckley V. Valeo
-Individuals may spend as much of their own money on their own campaigns as they want (and they do)⬦struck down a portion of 1970s reforms limiting contributions to oneself
-Independent spending...could spend as much money as he wants on a campaign as long as he is not coordinating with the candidate
-organizations can campaign on behalf of candidates as long as the advertisements are independent of candidates
-these ads are often more negative of the opponent
-allows candidate to put positive things on while another group is doing the dirty work
-Industries can organize PACs, labor unions, businesses (through stockholders and executives and managers)⬦can get around the limitations on PACs through bundling-giving checks all at once⬦and hand them over at one time (they are recorded as individuals, but the candidate still gets the message that it is a group effort
-a way for people to get around the limitations on donations
-gives money to reps to speak at a conference or something for the organization?
-Congressmen often go over limits in this, so they give the money to charities in their districts⬦wins good will in their district
bottom up pressure
-groups can influence congress by generating anxiety in public in individual districts (encourage people to write letters, send emails, make phone calls⬦) give congressmen the impression that the public will be paying attention to how the member votes on a particular issue, and so they should probably be careful how they vote (they should vote like the interest wants)
-NRA...they can make so many phone calls at a time that members of congress cant call out (you can give a dollar and they will write a letter in your name)⬦this is one of the reasons that while the majority of Americans are for gun control, laws are more pro-guns/NRA
King and Walker “The provision of Benefits by Interest Groups in the US”:
-Olson said that groups need to provide potential members with private and material benefits to attract them (he says people join groups to receive material benefits or because they would be barred from something if they don’t…such as unions)
-King and Walker contradict Olson, saying that under certain conditions some groups can overcome the “collective-goods dilemma” without having to provide private goods to potential members (Olson may have had some points…but overall his argument was incomplete)
-this works well for some groups (AARP…American association of retired persons)
They argue that this theory doesn’t work for other groups; some other groups rely on conscience or calls to protect public interest to attract members
-some people join groups when there is a threat to the cause
-businesses: people often join these groups to further the collective goals of their institutions
-when people are faced with threat to things/rights they already enjoy they are more likely to join groups to enhance the collective benefits
Dahl “For a More democratic union”:
-In some ways, the Constitution falls short in supporting its own democratic goals. And if it fails in important respects to measure up to such standards, shouldn't we undertake a serious effort to remove its defects?
-Important democratic deficiencies remain, including those found in the Electoral College and the concept of equal representation (less populated states votes count for more then more populated states)
-argues that the American system of government is not emulated by other countries, and not extremely effective (ranks in the bottom third in some areas)
-things should be changed/we should begin to propose change⬦though significant changes are almost impossible, political scientists, constitutional lawyers, and others have begun not only to challenge the undemocratic aspects of our political system but to propose significant changes that we could undertake within the limits of the present Constitution.
Lewis "Gideon’s Trumpet"
-famous case, that overturned Betts v. Brady (a previous SCOTUS decision that poor people are only entitled to a lawyer if they are insane or incompetent or committed a capital crime or something like that)
-Gideon was convicted w/o a lawyer in Florida; he appealed to the SCOTUS, arguing that ‘right to attorney should be included under 14th amendment’. He won. Now everyone has to have a lawyer
-shows insight into the SCOTUS…how things work…each justice works as an individual, very secretive, they have a lot of discretion in which cases they take and who they appoint as lawyers…there main barrier is whether it falls under their jurisdiction
Greenstein “There he goes again: The Alternation political style of Bill Clinton”
Clintons Anything goes governing style:
-pre-occupation with public policy (very into the details of policy
-political passion
-good with words/speeches (can gain supports with the way he spins things effectively)
-not-so-great-communicator…gives the public details, but fails to explain the broad, underlying principles
-charm, and good cheer
-lack of self-discipline (this is where his trouble starts…whether it be in an over-loaded policy agenda, too long of speeches, or private scandals
-didn’t organize the white house well
-team short on experience in Washington and political skill…ability to rebound in the face of misfortune
Schlesinger Jr “Rating the Presidents: Washington to Clinton”
-Schlesinger Jr. follows in his father footsteps and conducts a poll where historians rate the presidents best to worst
-many presidents don’t think that its fair to judge a president unless you have been in that position yourself (it is impossible to know what they go through)
Hibbing and Theiss-Morse “Process Preferences and American Politics”
-people believe they have been excluded from politics, but they don’t want direct democracy
-by measuring the extent that people belief that policy process is inconstant with their own process preferences is an important variable in understanding the public mood
Understanding what the public prefers in terms of processes and structures of government is important because negative attitudes may:
-discourage prospective politicians from serving
-sitting politicians from tackling controversial policy issues
-ordinary people from participating in politics
-make some people see government as less legitimate and maybe even take their obligation to comply with government regulations lightly
-People are displeased with: interest groups, campaign finance system, and politicians who are accorded a large staff and salary
-Compared to policy perceptions, people don’t generally view the process preferences of their own party above that of the opposing party. That is, the partisan bias in assessments of process preferences is much less pronounced than in assessments of policy preferences
Parker and Davidson “Why do Americans love their congressmen so much more than their congress?”
-Congress is judged, increasingly in unfavorable terms, on the basis of its performance on domestic policy, legislative-executive relations, and the style and pace of the legislative process. Congressmen, on the other hand, are judged-usually favorably-primarily on the basis of their services to constituents and their personal characteristics
- Citizens expectations for congress are vague and anchored to generalized policy and stylistic concerns, their expectation for their own reps are unmistakable. Legislators are judged very largely on the way they serve their districts and communicate with them.
-Successful performance of this aspect of the reps job typically pays off handsomely, as
indicated by incumbents' high rates of re-election. Yet such judgments on the part of voters
imply sanctions as well: legislators who lose touch or who seem preoccupied with national
issues may by disciplined by declining support or even defeat.

Deck Info